Like many people, I wasn’t sad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Now that 2021 has arrived, though, I find myself continuing to reflect on the year that passed and lessons learned. So, for motivation, inspiration, and accountability, here are 20 lessons I learned in 2020 (that I don’t want to forget).
1. Communication is key. I’ve handled some tough stuff as a wife, mom, co-worker, and friend in the last 12 months. The best, most productive conversations were the ones that were honest and direct.
2. Never underestimate the value of quality family time. We’ve been home more than ever in the last year. But you know what our son still craves? Time with my husband and me. And not just time together in the same house, but activities, games, snuggling, and conversations… true quality time. This was one of our biggest lessons learned.
3. Hobbies are important. Especially when I was working from home, I had to do things that took me away from my desk and relaxed me. I want to stay focused on developing hobbies (because right now they seem to change by the week… or maybe my hobby is trying new hobbies!).
4. Posting on social media won’t change someone’s mind, but it might inspire someone who is trying to find their voice. And the 30-day snooze is the best feature on Facebook.
5. Health cannot be taken for granted. Period.
6. A little grace can go a long way. We’ve all needed grace this past year as our lives were turned upside down. It’s in the moments when someone has shown me grace that I’ve been most grateful, and I want to continue repaying those lessons learned to others.
7. Sometimes making it through the day can be the goal. And you can feel darn good when you achieve it, because some days require a lot of freakin’ energy.
8. Friendship is a gift. There is nothing that replaces the joy of an interaction with a friend, and there have been many moments from this past year that I will cherish. I’m still working on being a better friend to others, so I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve the people who support and love me.
9. There is nothing I can do alone. I like to think I can tackle anything, but 2020 sure put me in my place. From home life to work life, it was the definition of a team effort and revealed everything that is great about the power of working together.
10. Kids are incredibly resilient. After what kids have endured this year, I don’t think any adult should ever again use the words “kids these days…” and follow it with something negative.
11. I can learn new technology. Sure, it’s been kind of a slow process, but I’m proud of how much more confidently I can navigate technology today compared to last January. Why stop now?
12. I’m okay without large events. Of course, I can’t wait to get back to large gatherings like concerts and sporting events, but I’ve come to really enjoy small get togethers. There is something special about the connections that can be created when you’re with smaller groups of people.
13. Friends can have different opinions. There was so much made of the divisiveness of 2020, which continues to sadden me. I cherish friendships where we see some aspects of life differently. I enjoy conversations where we can challenge and learn from each other. Why lose a friendship over a fraction of our beliefs? And why should we aspire to agree with our friends on everything?
14. When you have the opportunity to spend time with someone, do it.
15. Big changes can happen when people are focused on the same goal. Hopefully we never have a pandemic again, but I want to remember the power of what our team was able to accomplish when we had to focus all of our energy on creatively solving problems together. We learned many lessons not only as individuals, but as a team. If we can take a fraction of that flexibility and creativity with us into 2021, we can do anything!
16. I can do hard things. Yes, this is a motto lifted from Untamed by Glennon Doyle, but I love the reminder (of being able to do hard things AND of all of the amazing podcasts and audiobooks I consumed in 2020).
17. Just try things. This can relate to new hobbies or work. In 2020, I tried a lot of new things. Mostly because I had to. And you know what? It was actually great. I didn’t have time to overthink why something was maybe a bad idea. I’d just try it. Some things worked and some things didn’t, but I was glad to have broken out of my routine and done something new.
18. Fresh air is a key to my mental health. I’ve always kind of known that, but this year confirmed one of my biggest lessons learned. And when life gets back to normal, I still need to be outside as much as possible.
19. Something doesn’t have to be big to be memorable. I don’t want to give into the pressure of thinking that every holiday, every trip, every moment needs to be over-produced and over-planned. Heck, in 2020, some of our favorite memories happened on walks around our neighborhood or in people’s driveways, yards and garages.
20. Writing is an outlet for me. I had a goal to journal every day of 2020 starting a few months ago. With so much going on in the world, I felt like it was the only way to process it all. The daily journaling didn’t happen, but I did get my thoughts down pretty regularly. I’ve also tried in the last year to be more open with my thoughts on social media as a way to connect with others.
I think it’s working. I’m finding my voice, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2021! And I’m incredibly grateful to be starting my journey with QC Moms and see what other lessons I’ll learn in the coming year.
Read what lessons Becky learned in 2020 from getting a pandemic puppy.